At age 11, Elise Davis knew she wanted to play the guitar and began taking lessons in her hometown of Little Rock, AR. Writing songs, let alone singing them in public, was never a conscious end-goal. She knew she loved music, but there was no telling how far its pull would shape her life.
One evening, after her parents forbid her to go to a concert in downtown Little Rock, she decided to run away from home and stormed out the door.
After a few hours of sitting in a cul-de-sac less than a mile from away, she grew tired of waiting for the arrival of her anxious parents searching desperately for her. After walking back into her living room, she was shocked to find her parents just as she left them; neither Mom or Dad had realized she was missing. The ploy for attention had the opposite effect, and she was furious. Stomping up the stairs, she grabbed her guitar, locked herself in the bathroom and wrote her first song start to finish in one sitting. At 12 years old, she knew it was her calling.
The Sandbox Lizards, Elise’s first band, played gigs in and around Little Rock throughout high school. Her senior year she decided to begin a solo career and released her first full-length album “Love And Leaving”.
She attended college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas for her first two years, but ultimately finished school at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She released an album each year at SMU and U of A, all the while playing gigs in hotel lobbies, dive bars and parties. She released “Same Vein” in 2010 immediately after graduation and was free to travel.
She booked a tour in Los Angeles at several small bars well off the beaten path. It was at one of these shows that a smug bouncer struck up a conversation with a touch of sarcasm “so honey where are you from and when you moving to LA to be in the music industry?” After explaining she was from Arkansas and hadn’t considered moving to LA, the bouncer squarely told her “you will never get anywhere if you stay in Arkansas.” On her flight home the next day, she made up her mind…she was moving to Nashville.
Without any sense of a safety net, and a mere three weeks after the in-flight decision to drastically change course, she was on the interstate headed to a town where she didn’t know a single living soul. Somewhat miraculously, the very week she landed in Nashville, she had arranged a group of studio musicians to record “Cheap Date,” which ultimately released November of 2011.
In March of 2013, Elise signed her first publishing deal with Horipro Entertainment. The opportunity was presented as a prize for winning a songwriting contest through American Songwriter and Martin Guitar in which over 800 songwriters entered. That win planted her firmly in the middle of the Nashville songwriting community, and she began writing songs in the spirit of co-writes and collaboration.
On May 27th of 2014, Elise released the Life EP in conjunction with her publisher Horipro Entertainment. While the songs on Life could take a slight right turn and fit nicely on the Music Row hit parade, there’s an honesty and sharp-witted integrity fueling her creativity and constantly veering left.
In June 2015 Elise finished up a new record with producer Sam Kassirer (Langhorn Slim, Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive) recorded in Parsonsfield, Maine at Great North Sound Society studio. Sam and Elise linked up with an amazing band; Matt McCaughan (Bon Iver), Bradley Cook (Sharon Van Etten, Indigo Girls), and Josh Kaufman and recorded the a new album entitled "The Token" that will be released later this year.
Ultimately, staying true to her message may place her beyond the periphery of country label machine, but it simultaneously allows true music fans the opportunity to focus on a songsmith destined for a different kind of limelight.